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On March 14, 2013 Wasserman Projects, directed by Darlene Carroll, opened a solo exhibition by Beverly Fishman, Artificial Paradise, with paintings and objects whose imagery derives from the field of medicine. Objects made of blown colored glass reference enlarged pill medications whereas the line-work in the paintings, at times, often mimics cardiac arrhythmia. Fishman, the head of Painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has exhibited extensively in major cities throughout the United States. She comes from the Philadelphia College of Art and Yale University and has been in residence at Cranbrook since 1992.
If you only see the artwork reproduced in print or electronically, you miss the appeal of her work. The paintings, put together in sections using enamel paint on a reflective stainless steel surface, need to be seen in the right space and light. According to the artist, “The viewer’s reflection becomes part of the experience.” The vibrancy of the color and line captures our attention, as in Dividose: B.M.D., a diptych whose top section’s color field of multicolored stripes dazzles the audience.
Her exquisite craft, so beautifully created, leaves the viewer in awe of its accomplishment. The scale of the glass objects reminds us of pop artist Claes Oldenburg’s Scissors as Monument and Clothespin. The question lingers, does work executed in such a cool manner, provide the viewer with any empathy or romance? Let the viewer decide. One could delve deep into the medical theme or interpret the images as a designer looking for a piece for a new hospital lobby. Rather, these works of art stand alone as part of an eclectic oeuvre of twenty first century artists where art imitates life; finding it where they may.
The exhibition runs through May 3, 2013.
2163 Cole Street
Birmingham, MI 48009
Ron Scott is a pseudonym for a writer based in the Detroit area. View more articles by Ron Scott.